Carpet side match concern is when a carpet appears a different color from one side of the seam to the other side. This may be a true carpet side match concern or a conceived side match concern. There are several things that can cause the appearance of a side match color difference that range from lighting to installation concerns, or manufacture related defect in the carpet.
Carpet Side Match Color Variations Cause and Correction
There are several ways that light can cause the appearance of a carpet side match color difference when there is no true color difference.
- Light will cause a shadow to fall across or down the seam making the carpet on one side of the seam look darker.
- Some tinted globes or light fixtures covers can cause shadows or odd light conditions that give the appearance of a color side match difference.
- Sometimes when light falls across the seam the side of the seam away from the light source will be shaded.
Installation conditions that could cause the appearance of a carpet side match color difference
- During installation while the seam or seams are being constructed the carpet must be laid running the same direction on both sides of the seam, if the carpet on one side of the seam is turned running a different direction this will cause the appearance of a color side match difference.
- During seam construction if the seam is too tight together or too loose leaving a gap at the seam edges a peak in the seam can be caused. (A peaked seam should not be confused with seam profiling which is normal for a carpet that has been seamed with thermal plastic seaming tape.) When there is a peak in the seam a shadow will be on one side of the seam causing a dark look on one side of the seam appearing as a carpet side match.
- Sometimes when constructing a seam the tufts of the carpet on one or both sides of the seam need to be trimmed if this is not done it can make the seam more noticeable and throw a shadow across the seam.
- During seam construction if the seaming iron is set too hot this can cause the pile to change direction when moving the iron down the seam.
Manufacture related defects in carpet that cause a carpet side match difference or the appearance of side match color difference
- A true carpet side match difference is either color or shade variation from one piece of carpet to the piece next to it. Most carpet is dyed by a continuous feed method through a dye bath. Using this method sometimes one end of a roll of carpet can be slightly lighter in shade or hue then the other end of the roll. When a piece of carpet from one end of these rolls is seamed together with a piece from the other end of the roll there is a color or shade difference from one side of the seam to the other side.
- There can be a pile reversal within a roll of carpet and when two pieces are seamed together a color or shade difference shows. This is sometimes confused with the carpet being turned different directions during installation. The best way to confirm this is to pull back the carpet and find the stamps and arrows on the backing.
- During the shearing or tufting process of manufacturing a texture difference can occur and this can cause the look of a color or shade difference. In looped pile carpet a texture difference can be caused by a tension difference during tufting causing some loops to be shorter or longer and fuller or tighter than other loops. Shade variations are not an actual carpet side match in color.
- Crushing is not necessarily a manufacture related concern but this can cause the look of a texture difference causing the look of a color difference. Steaming can sometimes correct a texture difference or a crushing condition.
If you have a true carpet side match variation in color or shade and it is not too severe this carpet side match is often correctable by a color or feather blending process. The blending process uses specially formulated dyes, blending them in on the lighter side of the seam or seams. Carpet manufacturers work with experts such as Kevin Weinheimer that have been specifically trained in this process. Once the carpet has been correctly blended the correction should last for the life of the carpet. This feather blending process prevents the inconvenience of carpet replacement. These specially formulated dyes are designed to withstand carpet cleaning. The manufacturers warranty on your carpet remains in affect.
The best way to determine if you have a true and correctable carpet side match condition in either color or shade difference is to get a inspection by a Certified Independent Carpet Inspector like Terry and Kevin Weinheimer of The Weinheimer group. If the concern is a true and correctable color or shade difference the inspector may offer the correction service or be able to recommend a qualified expert technician that can perform the correction. Serving and western Washington. The Weinheimer Group is available for nationwide service.